On 1 July 2012 the Mackay Hospital and Health Service (HHS) commenced operation as an independent statutory body overseen by the Mackay Hospital and Health Board (Mackay HHB).
The Mackay HHB sets the strategic direction and oversees the management of the Mackay HHS. This provides an opportunity to have enhanced local decision making and accountability for the delivery of local health services.
Ms Helen Darch OAM – Chair and Board Member
Helen is Managing Director of Nedhurst Consulting, a Queensland based consultancy that focuses on strategic planning, facilitation, and mentoring.
She has over sixteen years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director on large Not-for-Profit and Government boards, primarily in the Health, Disability and Philanthropy sectors. She has held a range of leadership roles from Board Chair to Chair of Board Nominations, Executive Appraisal, and Fundraising and Marketing Committees, and has also been a Director on Board Finance, Quality and Risk, as well as Research Committees.
In addition to her Mackay Hospital and Health Board Chair role, she is currently an Ordinary Commissioner of the Crime and Corruption Commission, Chair of Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s Research Advisory Committee, and an advisor for McCarthy Mentoring.
In 2022 she was awarded an order of Australia for service to community health.
Helen’s professional qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Arts
- Graduate Diploma in Library Sciences
- Masters of Education (Training and Development)
- Fellow – Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Member – Australian Institute of Company Director
Mrs Kerry Maley – Deputy Chair and Board Member
Kerry is a dedicated and proud Kamilaroi and Mandandanji Aboriginal woman. Growing up on Barunggam country (Miles, Queensland), Kerry has a deep connection to her community and the land. Her passion for health and commitment to making a positive impact stem from the influence of her grandmother and mother, who collectively served Queensland Health for over 55 years.
Kerry is recognised as an Advanced Social Worker. With a career spanning more than 25 years in community service delivery, Kerry has acquired extensive expertise in various areas, including community health, therapy, child protection, women’s services, youth programs, and disability services. Kerry possesses a keen interest in organisational and strategic theoretical approaches, as well as stakeholder and community engagement. Kerry has an unwavering commitment to empowerment and successfully coordinating and implementing projects that foster inclusivity, support, and independence.
Kerry’s professional qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Social Work
- Graduate Certificate in Business (Public Sector Management) [underway]
- Diploma in Disability Work
- Diploma in Community Services
Associate Professor Luke Lawton – Board Member
Associate Professor Luke Lawton is a senior staff specialist in Emergency Medicine at Townsville University Hospital. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry and a past Director of Townsville University Hospital emergency department, having served as Director for five and a half years. He currently serves as a non-executive director of the Emergency Medicine Foundation, as an independent member on the Board Audit and Risk Committee of Townsville HHS and provides independent specialist opinions on medical matters and quality issues as an Expert Witness and Case and Quality Consultant. He is the current chair of the National Editorial Committee for the Primary Clinical Care Manual.
Luke has previously worked at Redcliffe Hospital, the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, RPA Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin, as well as having held clinical academic positions at The University of Queensland and the University of Sydney.
Luke’s professional qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Applied Science (Biochemistry)
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Hons)
- Master of Public Health (Aeromedical Retrieval)
- Fellow – Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
- Graduate – Australian Institute of Company Directors
Dr Peter O’Mara – Board Member
Professor Peter O’Mara is a proud Wiradjuri man from northeast Wiradjuri Country who completed his medical degree at the University of Newcastle. Since completing his degree, Peter has worked as a GP at Tobwabba Aboriginal Medical Service and founded the Werin Aboriginal Medical Service. Whilst still working at Tobwabba and Werin, Peter is also employed as a Professor and Assistant Dean of Indigenous Health at the University of Newcastle. Peter is committed to the ongoing training of Indigenous medical doctors to improve health disparities and continuously advocates for better health and education outcomes in Indigenous communities.
Peter’s professional qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Medicine
- Graduate Diploma in Rural General Practice
- Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice
- Fellow of Royal Australian College of General Practice
Dr Maureen (Maude) Chapman – Board Member
Dr. Maureen (Maude) Chapman is a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience in clinical practice and academia. She is currently an academic at the James Cook University, where she is the site coordinator for nursing and midwifery in Mackay. Her doctoral thesis entitled An exploration of leadership of registered nurses in the clinical environment focused on the use and expectations of leadership for nurses.
Utilising her experience Maude has been central to the development of contemporary nursing curricula in both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing education. She is a supervisor for research higher degree students in the field of nursing. She has a keen interest in the use of technology in healthcare. The specific areas of technology that she is interested in are, telemedicine, electronic health records, and the use of artificial intelligence in education. Her specific accomplishments in using technology to improve healthcare, include the development a new training program for nurses in the use of electronic health records.
She is passionate about using her skills and experience to improve the delivery of care to patients, she is also a strong advocate for giving back to the profession and to the community.
Maude’s professional qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Nursing
- Master of Nursing Studies
- Education Doctorate
Mr William (Bill) Cooper – Board Member
Bill is a prominent Lawyer and has worked as an Acting Magistrate in Mackay and as a Senior Case Officer for the Federal Child Support Agency. Bill currently serves as a Member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Bill has been admitted as a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and is a Member of the Queensland Law Society.
Bill ran his own legal practice for more than 25 years and he has been a Chairman, Director and Member of various Sporting and Community Boards including Chairman of Skills Training Mackay for 23 years, and as a Director of Mackay Cutters Rugby League Pty Ltd during its establishment, and as a Director of Mackay Stadium Pty Ltd during its construction pursuant to a Federal Government Grant.
Bill was an active member of Lions International and served two terms as President of his club. He has been a National Board Member of Variety and Chairman and Life Member of Variety Queensland.
Bill served as President of the Mackay District Law Association and President of the Mackay District Accountancy Committee.
Bill presently serves as Director and Secretary of several companies including Pioneer Valley Water Co-Operative Limited since 2012 and Central Queensland Helicopter Service since 2006.
Bill is a qualitied Mediator.
Bill’s professional qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Laws
- Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
- Fellow – CPA Australia